15 Nov 2008 3 Comments
Not the movie version. We had a very cool opportunity last night. In honor of Denver turning 150 years young next week, a bunch of museums stayed open till 10 pm last night and were free. It’s part of Denver arts week. If you know me, you know I don’t pass up an opportunity to go somewhere for free (when it’s usually a pay deal.) So, after work we ate and headed downtown.
The first stop was the Byers-Evans house. We had been there before, but James hadn’t. The city grossly underestimated how many people would turn out in 30 degree weather to see free museums. The place was packed. We had an introduction in the parlor and we got to stand on the side that’s usually closed off. The lady talked about the theater groups that use the house as their performing center. We found out it’s the only way you’ll get to see the upstairs of the house too. She read a letter from a Colorado nurse writing during the civil war. It’s one of the things they do in the summer called ‘letters from home’. They go to different areas of the house and read real letters from Coloradoans from US wars. After the reading we went into the living room, tea room and the music room. The original owner, Mr. Byers, started the Rocky Mountain newspaper, which is still publishing today. He sold it after 6 years to a business friend Mr. Evans (whose father was the Gov. of Colorado.) You’ll see a lot of things named Byers or Evans in Denver, these men came here to help build a city, so their legacy goes on. The house sits in the shadows of the 2 art museums that we now have.
Next stop was the Colorado History museum. For those of you in Denver, it’s free again next Saturday when the Denver 150 exhibit opens (free cake too.) We wandered around for a bit and then made buttons from pictures of Denver. The girls made some with the Capitol, mountains, and the library with pretty colors on them. Joel made one that said Denver’s 150th and one of a pilot leaving his plane at Stapleton airport. We also got a black and white copy of a parade down 16th street in what looks like the early 1900’s. We did want to go to the Molly Brown house, but we missed the shuttle and it was 6 blocks up (and therefore 6 blocks back.) James had given me a limit of 3 museums, so we left and drove to the next stop.
We have never been to the Forney museum of transportation before. It was very neat. We thought (because the paper had said so) that we would be exploring the museum with headlamps and lanterns, but they just meant that the cars and trains had their headlamps and lanterns lit.
We saw cars from the 1900’s, buggies, hearses (did you know children’s hearses where painted white and had colorful scenes painted on them?) We saw the history of bicycles, antique children’s ride on toys and tractors.
We saw this contraption from the 1950’s; it’s a car-plane.
Apparently it worked, but you’d never get me in there. Yeah, the words experimental are probably a good reason to stay away (that and it was made out of plywood.) We saw trolley cars, trains, and the Herbie car from the demolition scene in the movie ‘Herbie fully loaded’.
This picture turned out horrible,
but it’s the inside of the old KIT car from Knight Rider (we’re watching the new version of that show now, it’s not great but Val Kilmer has finally found his niche – being KITs voice!) We sat in a Model T, saw Colorado’s first art car (not that old, in Houston we have an art car parade every year, and it’s been going on for awhile.)
We also saw Amelia Earhart’s car! After looking at a few more cars it was time to go and there were still some things we hadn’t seen.
All in all, not a bad trip. Of course if James hadn’t been along I’d have dragged the kids to probably 8 more museums (Joel says good thing Dad was there.)
Oh, and I am soooooo ready to get my new camera in the mail!